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452 weeks ago @ Beyond Growth - The New Minimalism or ... · 3 replies · +2 points

Re. the poor - my grandmother (b. 1908) grew up in a nice little minimalist 2 room sod house with 12 children in the family. She was a hoarder from the time that I can remember. Not to the point of people that you see on TV today, but the type that kept her mothers 80 y.o. wool coat because she was going to make a blanket out of it someday. I've gone through some extremely lean times myself (living on $200/month at one point), so I can understand this mentality of not being able to let go of things. I'm afraid it's not as simple as "breathe and be content".

Growing up in a rural area (with 8 kids in an 1100 s.f. house) with neighbors that didn't have the luxury of running water in the 1970's may give me a bit of a different perspective, but many times these people accumulate because of economic reasons - you may need a part off that non-running vehicle out back and they're extremely inventive at re-purposing some things for other uses because they've had to be.

Amy D (Tightwad Gazette) herself had a 2500 s.f. house and a 4500 s.f. barn. I don't know that I would call that minimalist, even with 6 kids.

Re. the 1% tax on the rich who are that way because of authoritarian structures... Again, maybe my perspective is different, but in the 25 years that my 90 y.o. farmer father's been eligible for old age pension, he hasn't received a penny as it's been clawed back. There's a whole lot of people that I know like that who are those high income earners that got that way by being non-consumers before it was cool. I'm not really sure why, after putting in his 75+ years of working 60-100 hours a week and saving his butt off by doing things like living in a minimalist! granary for a couple of years - and giving gobs of money to charity - that he should have to pay for people who are putting in 1/4-1/2 the effort. I guess that means I'm a dirty capitalist.
My recent post Kanban - what a simple concept!

452 weeks ago @ Beyond Growth - Tony Robbins and the C... · 1 reply · +1 points

I believed in the guru thing for more years than I care to think about - and was pretty depressed the entire time. Even firewalking depressed me since it didn't seem to impact me in the way it did others. :-)
A radical shift due to disillusionment with self-help and moving from introspection to effective action was the best thing that ever happened to me.
I really enjoyed Steven Sashen's blog as well when he used to write on the anti-guru stuff: http://sashen.com/blog/48/if-you-think-you-can-or...
My recent post Kanban - what a simple concept!

452 weeks ago @ Narrow Bridge - Force Yourself to Live... · 1 reply · +1 points

Eric, a system similar to yours is what I've used for the last 10 years or so. And this system is also how I got to retire at 44. I started out doing what you do and moving about 25% of my paychecks into savings right off the bat. Over the years as I made more, I started to just live off one paycheck and the other went to savings. Then I started working 2 jobs and still lived off of one paycheck and banked all of the excess. Eventually my savings rate got up to over 75%. I learned pretty early that if I saw it and thought it was accessible, I would spend it. But this system allowed me to be very flexible with my budget categories in a given month/pay period, yet rigid with the amount.

454 weeks ago @ Fabulously Broke in th... - Don't waste your time ... · 0 replies · +1 points

I don't know about this sometimes. I think that many of these people that are looking for more time don't use their time wisely now - and I don't mean just relating to work. I'm including myself in their number. More time to what? Watch more TV maybe?

I don't regret my slight time = money focus that I had when saving enough to retire. Now my perspective has changed, but I still don't do things like make laundry detergent, change my own oil, yada yada because it doesn't seem enjoyable to me. But I do cook at home a lot and do home renovations myself because it's fun for the most part. The cooking I continued to do when I was making $150+/hour - I just did it faster - the home renos got put on hold.

454 weeks ago @ the lencurrie life - Don’t Think Abou... · 1 reply · +1 points

I think you're bang on in this one. After years of being in debt and trying the deprivation route, saving and working hard became very, very easy for me once I figured out that I:

a) wanted to retire young; and
b) really could retire young.

The focus was off deprivation then and towards working for my future self and being able to have enough money that if I ever got into a bad work situation, I could just walk away. Pretty much every time I spent major money after that, I correlated it to how many days of not having to work that purchase would cost me in the future. Sometimes it was worth it, sometimes not.

The same thing happens (to me) when I work out. I always used to do it first thing in the morning. When the time came for eating throughout the day, it was easy to step away from some things because of the thought of how much it would cost me in sweat later on to burn it off. And sometimes it's worth it, but usually not.

459 weeks ago @ Beyond Growth - The Lifestyle Design (... · 0 replies · +1 points

Hey Fabian, more digression... that's a reasonable assumption to make that the $8k would be spent on material goods for oneself. If that's what someone would spend it on. Personally, I don't feel it's hollow consumerism to pay for my son's education or to give both my time and some money to others. The only time I've personally come close to that amount anyway is when putting some money into a house renovation. Of course, one could just let a roof rot away or something. Or we could all live in tents I guess.
Admittedly, I chose to make a lot of $ at something I'm good at and enjoyed in the corporate world and save a lot in order to retire early and spend my time how I want at a younger age. I don't see anything wrong with wanting to donate my time to friends, family, absolute strangers and organizations. It's incomprehensible to me that anyone would find that unethical. That's MY version of lifestyle design I'm afraid.
Sorry for the O.T. digression.
My recent post May, 2010 Tracking + Small Honors

460 weeks ago @ Big Goal Hunting - 10 Things People COULD... · 1 reply · +1 points

I'd want just two words written: USED UP :-)
(including the smiley face)

Or maybe 'Her work here was done.'
My recent post The “High Cost of Raising Children” Myth

461 weeks ago @ Beyond Growth - The Lifestyle Design (... · 1 reply · +1 points

Fabian - sorry, I'm not stalking you - really! :-)

Harry Browne's "How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World - A Handbook for Personal Liberty" might interest you as it's a good example of teaching people how to think for themselves (and radical life design) wrapped up in a readable philosophical package (even if you're not a libertarian). I had to buy it as an e-book because it isn't in print any more.
My recent post Above and Beyond – who says they don’t like Mondays?

461 weeks ago @ Beyond Growth - The Lifestyle Design (... · 2 replies · +1 points

Hi Fabian,

FWIW, and I'm showing my age here - over 25 years ago was when I first read of Barbara Sher talking about "Life Design" in her book Wishcraft - on the link below at page 48.

This really was one of the original "bibles" of life / lifestyle design before Ferriss entered kindergarten - although I think because it's aimed at a different generation, the generation has actually influenced the message and messenger - being more of a "greed is good" generation today.

I devoured Sher's work (who's also quite a shining example of humanitarianism) when it came out as a template for how I want to live my life, also influencing me to make "passive income" through saving and investing by working my ass off (at a j*b) and retiring at 44 y.o., capitalist that I am.

When Ferriss' book came out a few years ago, I could only get through about 1/2 of it and gave it away, just wasn't as inspiring or as useful to me as the original stuff by the masters who had said it before, only much better (ie. Richard Koch in the 80/20 Principle too) without all the rah rah travel around the world while working as little as possible b.s. Their work was more about finding meaning in your work, not doing as little of it as possible. It may be a fine distinction, but a key one I think. The implication being that if your work is meaningful, you will probably want to do more of it, not less.

Sorry, I may be digressing from the topic at hand, but that's the direction that I wish life design would move back towards and the philosophy I'm trying to promote on my site.
My recent post Above and Beyond – who says they don’t like Mondays?

461 weeks ago @ Big Goal Hunting - How To Wake Up Super E... · 1 reply · +1 points

Hey Mike, I don't get to sleep in and am usually up somewhere between 5-6 a.m. every day. You won't catch me sleeping on a floor though. Just too uncomfortable.

There are some people who can sleep less than the average yet still operate efficiently. These people are rare and it sounds like you're one of them. There are more than 100,000 accidents and 1,500 fatalities in the US every year due to sleep deprivation of drivers.

I used to get by on 4-5 hours of sleep every day. But I did a bunch of research myself and concluded that given that I was cranky and not fully functioning at that level of sleep, I was actually wasting time, not saving it and am up to about 6.5 hours a night on average now. It took me about 6 months to train myself to do it.

I guess I'm saying that life isn't about quantity (of hours or years for that matter), it's about quality. If less sleep gives you a better quality life, then go for it. If, like me, it leads to a lower level quality of life, don't do it.

This article wasn't out when I trained myself to sleep more a dozen years ago, but this is basically the gist of what I had to do: http://www.stevepavlina.com/blog/2005/05/how-to-b...
My recent post I am “the emotional investor”